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Avalanche kills snowmobiler in northern B.C.

The Hasler riding area, west of Chetwynd, B.C. (Avalanche Canada) The Hasler riding area, west of Chetwynd, B.C. (Avalanche Canada)
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A snowmobiler is dead after an avalanche over the weekend in northeastern British Columbia.

Avalanche Canada says the snowmobiler was buried in a slide in the Hasler riding area, west of Chetwynd.

"The rider was located and extracted by snowmobilers at the scene, but did not survive," the agency said in an incident report on its website.

The death marks the first recorded avalanche fatality of the year in B.C., after 14 people were killed by avalanches in the province in 2023.

Avalanche Canada says the deadly slide happened in a chute at treeline elevation and ran approximately 250 metres down the slope. Two others were caught in the slide but survived.

The agency is warning of dangerous avalanche conditions throughout the B.C. backcountry, saying in a social media post that "warm, stormy weather continues to destabilize the snowpack."

Backcountry enthusiasts are urged to make conservative terrain choices and avoid overhead hazards if venturing into avalanche-prone areas, the agency said.

Sixteen people were killed by avalanches in Canada in 2023, surpassing the national average of 11 avalanche deaths per year.

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